Dr. Katie Dyer is a 1993 graduate of Michigan State University. She currently owns two small animal practices in southeast Michigan, Family Pet Practice, located in Waterford and Wixom, but has worked in large animal, exotic and emergency veterinary practices during the course of her veterinary career. She is the mother of two teenaged boys and a menagerie of horses, dogs, cats, and various pocket pets. In her free time, she loves to spend time outside, riding the horses, camping, kayaking, and SCUBA diving.
About 5 years ago, a staff member brought to Dr. Dyer’s attention a disturbing correlation she had detected between cats that were euthanized due to inappropriate urination and/or aggression and cats that were declawed. One of the cats that was currently living at the hospital had been relinquished due to urinary issues and had been declawed. He did not seem particularly lame, but he rarely jumped up on things. Dr. Dyer was truly shocked at the extent of the bone disease, severe tendon contracture, and retained bony fragments of P3 seen when she radiographed his feet. Dr. Dyer performed surgery to remove the bone fragments and to release the tendons. It wasn’t ideal, but the cat was more active and started jumping again.
Dr. Dyer says, “It took me a few more years to come to terms with the fact that there was NO good reason to declaw a cat. The long term effects on the cat just were not worth the short term relief of the owner. No matter how good your surgical technique is and how well you control post-op pain, I have now taken enough films to know, the deterioration of the entire musculoskeletal system will eventually occur.”